Felix ‘Boy’ Espineda, Jr., BicolToday.com
The strong opposition of environmentalist in the propose exploratory works of DOE in the towns of Juban, Casiguran, Irosin and Bulusan here in Sorsogon is a lesson for DOE and its exploratory partner Summa Kumagai Geothermal. Since the fiasco in Bulusan, they were not able to rebound instead they left their gloves down that exposed their insincerity to define geothermal exploration. This time the power of one among the environmentalist scored heavily against DOE.
What was manifested are the actions of environmentalist, the cause oriented groups are not yet in the fray and the time that they started talking, more headaches for the government. Bonding together by networking and consultations awakens local government units that whatever little chance geothermal exploration have is now in a casket for burial. Blaming the DOE is not enough, the other party is, their exploratory partner likewise remissed in their information and education campaign, their complacency and not knowing the hearts and minds of the locals revealed that their corporate social responsibility is better off in paper than in actionable commitment. They littered the road to geothermal will lots of potholes that repairing it may take years to do.
I do not subscribed to the theory of DOE man Adajar that they will be patient for as long as it takes just to sway the opinion of the locals about the project. Citing previous experiences as basis, their tenacity is not for tomorrow but for today since they have to comply with the energy needs of the country years from now. They failed.
The environmentalist will continue to be a formidable force, even to the point of seeking court relief just to stop further exploratory work in Juban town, they are not a bunch of publicity hungry people, but a group that has caused the preservation of the national reserves.
What went wrong to the strategic planners of DOE and its partner is for them to analyzed. The provincial board may call a committee hearing for their concern since the environmentalist forwarded their opposition to the body. Again they will have their hands full. What remains are remnants of strategy torn-up by the ragtag environmentalist that have the data of what an exploratory geothermal work is. They have the brains while the government representatives have the money to chill out in the comfort of an air conditioned hotel rooms. Pity that a government priority project is derailed because of lack of thrust, no perspective to open the public mind of the real benefits of the project.
DOE must wake-up from their stupor, the environmentalist grows in number each day, they are bonded, the government . . . is still in disarray.
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